MALACCA: A pedestrian path will be built leading tourists to the remnants of Santiago Bastion, making it a “can’t-be-missed” site for tourists, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.
“The findings will further promote tourism,” he told reporters after attending the Festa San Pedro at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir on Sunday night.
Mohd Ali said the state government, Melaka Museum Corporation, the city council and the Department of Museums and Antiquities would preserve Santiago Bastion, one of the ancient Portuguese watch towers discovered recently.
“The preservation will complement the existing proposed Padang Pahlawan Development by Tempamas Sdn Bhd and become a new tourist attraction,” he said.
When asked to comment on the move by several Portuguese appealing to the state government to stop work on Dataran Pahlawan to save the heritage of Santiago Bastion, Mohd Ali said: “They do not know what they are talking about.”
Former Kota Melaka MP Lim Guan Eng and DAP member Martin Theseira had started a signature campaign to put a stop work order on the project, claiming that if left untouched the find could secure a Unesco World Heritage listing.
The project by Tempamas, which was given an 89-year lease to build souvenir stalls, restaurants and parking lots at Dataran Pahlawan, would not affect the archaeological find, said Mohd Ali.
“What Tempamas needs to do is to modify one of its staircase leading to the souvenir stalls which is near to the Santiago Bastion,” he said.
Michael Low, managing director of Tempamas, said the staircase was being redesigned to accommodate the discovery. “The historical find will help generate more activities in this area,” he said. The project will be completed by the end of 2004.